Keena Young has scored in double figures in 15 of 17 games this season. (Photo by Mark Philbrick/BYU Photo)
BYU GAME #18 FAST FACTS
BYU COUGARS (12-5, 2-1 MWC)
WYOMING COWBOYS (11-6, 2-1 MWC)
Tuesday, Jan. 16, 2007
Marriott Center (22,700)
6 p.m. MT
BYU, Dave Rose (32-14 in second season; same overall)
UW, Steve McClain (151-106 in ninth season; same overall)
BYU leads, 94-69, after sweeping the season series last year
The MountainWest Sports Network (the mtn.) (James Bates, play-by-play; Todd Christensen, color)
KSL Newsradio (102.7 FM/1160 AM) and the Cougar Sports Network (5 p.m. MST pregame show -- Greg Wrubell, play-by-play; Mark Durrant, game analysis)
Live audio and live stats links are available on the basketball schedule page at www.byucougars.com/basketball_m/
BYU HOSTS WYOMING TUESDAY
BYU (12-5, 2-1 MWC) will return home to host the Wyoming Cowboys (11-6, 2-1 MWC) Tuesday at 6 p.m. MT in the Marriott Center. The game will be televised on the MountainWest Sports Network (the mtn.) and can be heard live on the radio beginning with the pregame show at 5 p.m. on KSL Newsradio 102.7 FM and 1160 AM out of Salt Lake City or via the Internet at KSL.com. The Cougars have won seven of their last eight games and 25 in a row at home. The Cowboys dropped a game against Air Force Saturday after opening league play with wins at SDSU and against UNLV.
SPECIAL PROMOTIONS AT TUESDAY'S GAME
Fans who attend BYU's men's basketball game Tuesday night will have the opportunity to join the 2006 Mountain West Conference champion BYU football team in a special celebration honoring the team. BYU football players will be available for autographs on the concourse level of the Marriott Center at 5:30 p.m. prior to BYU's 6 p.m. tipoff against Wyoming. Halftime will then feature a highlight video, trophy presentation and remarks from Coach Mendenhall and players.
Tuesday's game will also feature a special ticket promotion. Fans who purchase two tickets to the Wyoming game at regular price will receive two free upper bench tickets to either BYU vs. New Mexico (Feb. 14, 2007) or BYU vs. Colorado State (Feb. 21, 2007). Tickets are on sale now at the Marriott Center Ticket Office. Call 422-BYU1 or visit www.BYUtickets.com.
BYU will hit the road as the Cougars travel to face Colorado State on Saturday at 3:30 p.m. MT. The game will be televised on the mtn.
COUGAR QUICK HITS
-- 2006 All-MWC Third Team forward Keena Young leads BYU this year in scoring (15.6) and is second on the team in rebounding (6.6). 2006 Freshman All-American Trent Plaisted leads the Cougars on the boards (7.1) and is second in scoring (11.2), while senior Austin Ainge leads BYU with 3.6 assists per game.
-- With 25 straight wins in the Marriott Center, the Cougars are currently tied for the nation's second-longest active home winning streak. BYU is 11-0 at home this season, 1-4 on the road and 0-1 on a neutral court.
-- BYU was picked to finish second in the Mountain West Conference in the preseason MWC media poll behind reigning champion San Diego State.
-- Cougar head coach Dave Rose guided BYU to a 20-9 record and an NIT appearance last season in his first year at the helm after eight years as BYU's lead assistant. He was named the Mountain West Conference and USBWA District VIII Coach of the Year. Rose coached his team to a second-place MWC finish -- one game behind league-champion San Diego State -- while turning a 9-21 team into a 20-9 success that proved to be the second-best improvement among all Division I programs.
LOOKING AT WYOMING
The Cowboys are 11-6 overall and 2-1 in MWC play with a 2-2 overall mark on the road this season. Wyoming has recorded wins over fellow-BYU opponents Boise State, Lamar, San Diego State and UNLV. The Cowboys are led by sophomore guard Brandon Ewing, who paces the team and the league in scoring at 22.1 points per game while adding 3.4 rebounds and 3.1 assists per contest. Junior guard Brad Jones is second on the team in scoring at 16.2 ppg, which ranks seventh in the MWC, and third in rebounding at 5.1 rpg. He also ranks fourth in assists at 4.0 per game. Senior forward Daaron Brown paces the Cowboys on the boards at 6.9 per game, sixth in the conference, while ranking third in the MWC in field-goal percentage with a .605 mark. Junior forward Joseph Taylor averages 5.8 rpg and is fifth in the league in blocked shots with 1.59 per contest. As a team, the Cowboys average 75.9 ppg on .472 shooting from the field, including a .372 mark from three-point range, while holding opponents to 73.2 ppg on .441 shooting from the field. Wyoming holds a slight 35.8-34.3 rebounding advantage over its opponents. Cowboy head coach Steve McClain is 151-106 in his ninth season at the helm.
WYOMING'S PROBABLE STARTERS
Pos. # Name Ht. Wt. Yr. PPG RPG
G 1 Brad Jones 6-0 170 Jr. 16.2 5.1
G 2 James Spencer 6-4 195 Jr. 12.9 3.6
G 23 Brandon Ewing 6-2 190 So. 21.1 3.4
F 20 Joseph Taylor 6-8 210 Jr. 5.5 5.8
F 40 Daaron Brown 6-9 260 Sr. 8.5 6.9
WYOMING's LAST OUTING -- Wyoming Falls at Buzzer to No. 18 Air Force, 58-56
LARAMIE -- Jacob Burtuschi made the winning basket at the buzzer and scored 18 points, sending No. 18 Air Force to a 58-56 victory over Wyoming on Saturday. Burtuschi got the ball in the lane on an inbounds play with 1.2 seconds left, dribbled once and easily laid it in. The ball fell through the hoop at the buzzer, sending the Falcons (17-1, 4-0 Mountain West) streaming onto the court in celebration. But if they had hit their free throws, Air Force would have sealed it earlier. Leading 56-55, the Falcons twice missed the front end of a 1-and-1, and when John Frye fouled Daaron Brown with 21 seconds left he gave Wyoming (11-6, 2-1) a chance to take the lead. But Brown missed the first of his free throws, too, hitting the second to tie the game at 56. Air Force tried to set up a play, but lost the ball; it went out of bounds off a Wyoming player, setting up the inbounds play and Burtuschi's game-winning layup. Dan Nwaelele scored 13 points for the Falcons, and Tim Anderson had 10. With Air Force down 52-49, Anderson scored on a tip-in to bring the Falcons within a point. Matt McCraw then found himself open at the top of the arc and hit a 3-pointer that put Air Force up 54-52 with 1:50 left. Nwaelele dunked on an assist from Anderson to make it 56-52 with 1:02 to go. Brandon Ewing hit a pair of free throws to bring Wyoming to 56-54. Wyoming then stole the ball on the inbounds play. Joseph Taylor missed a dunk, and James Spencer - fouled in the scramble for the loose ball - hit just one of two free throws, leaving Wyoming down 56-55. Ewing led Wyoming with 15 points, and Brad Jones scored 13. The Falcons fell behind 11-2 in the first half, missing nine of their first 10 shots, but slowly pulled almost even. McCraw's 3-pointer with 35 seconds left pulled Air Force to 20-19. Ewing hit a free throw in the final seconds of the first half to give Wyoming a 21-19 lead
This will be the 164th meeting between the two schools. BYU leads the series 94-69 after sweeping the season series last year. The Cougars also swept the season series in 2003 and 2004 while earning five straight wins including a MWC Tournament victory in 2004. The Cowboys swept the series in 2005. The Cougars have won seven of the last 10 outings and 11 of 16 since the formation of the Mountain West Conference. After Utah (242 games) and Utah State (224 games), BYU has faced Wyoming the third-most times in its history. Wyoming has a 53-28 advantage in Laramie while BYU boasts a 62-14 record in Provo. BYU has a 4-2 edge on a neutral floor, including a 2-0 advantage in conference tournament play.
Overall Series Record: BYU leads 94-69
BYU Record in Provo: 62-14 (30-5 in the Marriott Center)
BYU Record in Laramie: 28-53 (11-14 in Arena Auditorium)
BYU Record at Neutral Sites: 4-2
BYU Record under Dave Rose: 2-0
BYU Record in Overtime Games: 1-3* (all in Laramie)
*0-1 in 2OT games (1981 in Laramie, 84-86)
Last OT Game: 1981, lost in Laramie, 84-86 (2OT)
Longest BYU Win Streak: 12 (1972-77)
Longest Wyoming Win Streak: 9 (1942-46)
Largest BYU Margin of Victory: 35, 78-43 in 1966
Largest Wyoming Margin of Victory: 32, 63-31 in 1931
Most Points Scored by BYU: 102 in 1965
Most Points Scored by Wyoming: 107 in 1966
QUOTING COACH ROSE
"Wyoming is a really good team. They have really good guards in Brad Jones, Brandon Ewing and James Spencer. They're three guards who can all make plays off the dribble, jump up and make shots. They're very athletic. We've got to be able to contain and deal with their pressure defensively.""
"Brandon Ewing played a lot of minutes last year as a freshman and really came into his own last year in the conference tournament when he led Wyoming to the title game. He continues to get better. He has a good outside shot and shares the ball well."
"Wyoming plays really hard, and they play together. Defensively, they're a lot better than they were last year. Their rotations are a lot better. Their post players are really good players. Joseph Taylor has stepped in and given them a lot of depth.
LAST YEAR IN PROVO -- COUGAR RESERVES BIG IN VICTORY OVER WYOMING
PROVO -- Playing without two key players, BYU got big performances from Austin Ainge and Trent Plaisted leading to an 80-67 victory over Wyoming Wednesday night in the Marriott Center. The win marks BYU's eighth straight home victory. The Cougars, now 10-5 (2-2, MWC) were without the services of Rashaun Broadus and Derek Dawes. Broadus, who was suspended for violating team rules, had started every game for BYU this year prior to the Wyoming game while Dawes sat out due to an injury suffered at UNLV. Ainge started his second game of the season and his first game at point guard and scored 12 points while adding two assists. Wyoming head coach Steve McClain isn't surprised that Ainge had a big game. "Austin Ainge was All-Conference last year," he said. "I told our kids before the game that he would probably come out and show he should be the starting point guard." Plaisted scored a team-high 17 points and grabbed eight boards. Keena Young also came up big, tying his career high with 16 points and picking up six rebounds. Defense prevailed early in the game with the two teams combining for just one point in the first 2:33. The Cowboys' (10-8, 3-2 MWC) Justin Williams had two early blocked shots, but BYU's Lee Cummard came up with two steals that turned into five Cougar points. Offensively, each team settled in with BYU maintaining a 16-13 lead with 11:54 remaining. The two teams matched baskets with the Cougars getting hustle baskets from Keena Young, who scored four early points courtesy of two offensive rebounds in his first six minutes of play. Using the three-ball, Wyoming retook the lead 28-25 when Brandon Ewing hit consecutive triples. Ainge responded with a three of his own to tie the game as the Cougars retook the lead and clung to a 32-31 advantage with under four minutes to play in the first half. Ewing made a last second drive to the hoop to end the half, dropping in a floater to give the Cowboys a 38-36 halftime lead. Wyoming entered the game shooting 43 percent from the field. The Cowboys shot 52 percent in the first half while the Cougars managed only 40 percent shooting. BYU was led in the first half by Cummard, who picked up 1 of his career-best 13 points in the opening half. Sparked by Ainge, the Cougars came out running in the second half, jumping out with a 13-3 run to pick up a 49-41 lead. Ainge knocked down a three and a coast-to-coast layup to force a Wyoming timeout. "The key to winning the game was the first eight minutes of the second half," Rose said. BYU's run continued as the Cougar defense stymied the Cowboys. Wyoming missed 13 of its first 14 shots in the second half while BYU made nine of its first 15. The Cougars held the Cowboys scoreless for 6:30, a streak that ended with a free throw. Wyoming went without a field goal for almost nine minutes. BYU held the Cowboys to just 26 percent shooting in the second half. The Cougars built a 15-point lead midway through the second half and maintained the double-digit lead throughout much of the second half until, benefiting from free throws and a full-court press, the Cowboys cut the lead to eight with 3:53 left in the game. Wyoming maintained its pressure, cutting the BYU lead to 68-61 with 1:27 remaining in the game. The Cowboys would get no closer as the BYU beat the break and made foul shots down the stretch.
WHAT WAS SAID AFTER THE GAME ...
BYU Head Coach Dave Rose
-- "The key to winning the game was the first eight minutes of the second half. It was big to come out in the second half and get the crowd in the game. It really gave us a lot of energy."
-- "I'm proud of the way our guys came together. These games will all get pretty intense. Each night it will be the team that executes and puts forth the best effort."
-- "Justin (Williams) is a player. I played with a great shot-blocker in college in Hakeem Olajuwon. He reminds me of him."
Wyoming Head Coach Steve McClain
-- "We just couldn't make shots. Steve (Leven) had a couple wide-open shots from the three. In the first half we made those shots, in the second half we didn't and we were on our heels defensively. When you're not making shots, you're running back and you can't get your defense set. If we're making shots they don't get near as many opportunities to score."
-- "Every turnover tonight was crucial because it seemed like they scored off of them."
-- "Austin Ainge was All-Conference last year and I told the kids before the game he's probably going to come out and show he should be starting point guard."
BYU NOTES FROM LAST YEAR IN PROVO
-- Junior Austin Ainge made his second start of the season and his first at point guard in place of Rashaun Broadus, who was suspended for violating team rules.
-- Individual Career Highs: Lee Cummard -- 13 points, 5 field goals made, 4 assists, steals; Fernando Malaman -- 8 rebounds; Brock Reichner -- 8 free throws made.
-- Individual Season Highs: Austin Ainge -- 12 points, 5 field goals made.
-- Team Season Highs/Lows: Least three-point field goals made -- 3, Lowest three-point field goal percentage -- .200; Most free throws made -- 25.
-- With the win, the Cougars improved to 10-5 while surpassing last year's victory total , when they suffered a disappointing 9-21 season to end five straight postseason appearances.
-- BYU's home victory over Wyoming marked its ninth home win of the season and its eighth straight.
-- With the win, BYU improved to 2-5 when trailing at the break, with the wins coming against Wyoming and Boise State. The Cougars trailed at the half with a 36-38 deficit. BYU overcame that deficit by opening the second half on a 20-3 run to take a 56-41 lead. The Cougars held Wyoming scoreless for almost seven minutes of the second half as the Cowboys were 1-for-14 from the field in the first 9:15 of the period. BYU also trailed at the half against Boise State, 44-36, but opened the second period with a 23-8 run, eventually winning 80-77.
-- The Cougars outrebounded Wyoming 43-38 on the night. The Cowboys came into the game leading the league and ranking 34th in the nation in rebounding margin (+5.7).
-- Wyoming head coach Steve McClain received a technical foul with 5:19 left in the second half, becoming the third opponent head coach this season to receive a technical foul (Billy Tubbs, Lamar, -- 2; Greg Graham, Boise State -- 1).
-- Freshman Lee Cummard, who finished with a career-high 13 points, surpassed his previous career high with 11 points on a jumper with 1:42 left in the first half, becoming the 10th Cougar to score in double figures this season. His first four points of the game came off of two steals in the first five minutes as he picked off Wyoming and put the ball in at the other end on the fast break.
-- Austin Ainge scored a season-high 12 points against Wyoming, becoming the 11th Cougar to score in double figures this year. Only Jermaine Odjegba, who has seen limited action in five games this season, has not reached double-digits in the scoring column.
LAST YEAR IN LARAMIE -- EMERY SPARKS BYU WIN AT WYOMING
LARAMIE -- True freshman Jackson Emery had a career game for BYU as the Cougars got another hard-fought victory over Wyoming, 74-68, in the Arena-Auditorium. Emery scored a personal-best 13 points, making 3-of-4 treys, in 17 minutes of play on Saturday. BYU (16-7, 8-4 MWC) had a big first half and held off the charging Cowboys (12-14, 5-8). With the win, BYU remains in a third-place tie in the Mountain West Conference standings. The Cowboys made a 6-2 run to cut the BYU lead to 21-18 with 7:41 left in the first half. The teams matched runs once again with the Cougars scoring six in a row to build a nine-point advantage before Wyoming's Brandon Ewing answered with seven consecutive points by himself. The Cowboys were helped out by BYU turnovers. Keena Young and Emery helped the Cougars score five unanswered points as the see-saw tilted back in BYU's direction. Emery scored five points in the last 38 seconds of the half, including a three-pointer from the corner with seven seconds remaining, to give the Cougars a 43-35 at the break. BYU shot 54.5 percent from the field in the first half, including 3-for-5 from behind the three-point line. The Cougars came out flat early in the second half and the Cowboys took advantage, cutting the lead in half and forcing an early BYU time out. Wyoming's Justin Williams played physical, blocking shots and scoring points early in the half as the Cowboys cut the lead to two at 45-43 with 15:53 left in the game. BYU countered with Emery, who nailed consecutive three pointers to put the Cougars back up by eight points. Moments later, Trent Plaisted hit a hook shot to give BYU a game-high, 10 point lead. Wyoming scored five in a row to cut the lead back down to five. After Broadus hit a foul shot, Wyoming scored seven consecutive points to give it a 55-54 lead with 10:35 remaining, its first advantage since a 12-10 lead early in the game. Down two at 62-60, the Cougars went on a 5-0 run to regain the lead. BYU kept the lead, holding on to a 67-66 advantage with two minutes remaining when Broadus followed his own miss -- one of Williams' 11 blocked shots on the day -- with a layin to give the Cougars a three-point lead with under one minute left. His offensive rebound on the play was BYU's 20th, the most by the Cougars this season. The Cowboys' Ewing missed two foul shots with 35 seconds left and Young made two on the Cougars side after a foul. Reichner made one free throw and Plaisted added two more in the final seconds to secure BYU's third road win of the MWC season. Young led BYU with 15 points and a career-high 12 rebounds to record his second double-double of the year. Plaisted (12 points) and Balderson (11 points) joined Young and Emery in double figures for BYU. Williams pulled down a game-high 13 rebounds while nearly recording a triple-double with 11 blocks (tied Wyoming record) and eight points.
WHAT WAS SAID AFTER THE GAME ...
BYU Head Coach Dave Rose
-- "I loved the fight that we had in all of our kids. We had a great week of practice and it showed today by how we didn't quit. It was a game of runs but we fought hard and made plays. We got some good play from our bench. It's a determined team right now."
-- "It showed that we had determination today by the rebounding numbers. Wyoming is a great rebounding team and we were able to our rebound them by 11. I am very proud of our kids. We scored a lot of points by getting second shots."
-- "Jackson (Emery) had a great game for us. He always works hard and he is a big reason why we were able to jump to a lead in the first half. Jackson made several huge plays down the stretch in the first half."
Wyoming Head Coach Steve McClain
-- "It's tough to win a game when you don't shoot free throws and get outrebounded like we did today."
-- "We guarded their stuff well enough. We had some trouble with transition defense and we had trouble with rebounding the basketball."
-- "We have enough fight in us. There's only one choice -- keep fighting. Maybe a ball will bounce our way one time."
BYU NOTES FROM LAST YEAR IN LARAMIE
-- Head coach Dave Rose has used the same starting lineup in the last six games, going with Rashaun Broadus, Brock Reichner, Lee Cummard, Keena Young and Trent Plaisted in the starting five. BYU is 5-1 with this starting lineup.
-- Individual Career Highs: Keena Young -- 12 rebounds; Jackson Emery -- 13 points, 4 field goals made, 3 three-point field goals made; Brock Reichner -- 1 block (tied).
-- Team Season Highs/Lows: Offensive rebounds -- 20; Total rebounds in an MWC game -- 45 (tied, also vs. TCU); Most blocked shots by an opponent -- 13; lowest second-half field-goal percentage -- .265; fewest assists -- 6.
-- BYU led 43-35 at the half, equaling the most first-half points in a conference road game this season (also at Colorado State). BYU improves to 11-0 this season when leading at the half. For the first time this season, BYU has scored 40 or more points in the first half in back-to-back games (40 vs. UNLV). The Cougars have led at the break four times in conference play with their eight-point advantage against Wyoming being their largest (+4 vs. Utah, +2 at Colorado State, +6 vs. UNLV).
-- BYU outrebounded the MWC's top rebounding team, 45-34, including a season-high 20 offensive rebounds against the Cowboys (19 vs. TCU). BYU's 45 rebounds tied its largest total in a conference game this year (also TCU) and is just one board shy of the team's top effort this season (46 vs. Weber State).
-- Keena Young pulled down a career-high 12 rebounds and scored 15 points to record his second double-double of the year and third of his career. His prior two double-double games both game against Air Force.
-- Jackson Emery scored a career-high 13 points, including five points in the final minute of the first half to give BYU an eight-point advantage at the break. He made a career-best three treys on four attempts.
-- Lee Cummard received a technical foul after reacting to a charging foul called on him with 2:45 left in the first half. Cummard is the first BYU player to receive a technical this season.
-- BYU and Wyoming both committed 15 turnovers during the game but the Cougars were able to take advantage on two more possessions, scoring 17 points off of turnovers compared to the Cowboys' 13. BYU is now a perfect 12-0 this year when making more points off of turnovers than its opponent.
-- BYU is now 6-1 this year in games decided by six points or fewer.
BYU swept the season series against the Cowboys this year. BYU improves to 94-69 all-time against Wyoming, with the Cowboys advantage in Laramie now being 53-28.
-- Wyoming shot 47.3 against BYU, the lowest percentage shot against the Cougars in a league road game this year. Despite facing strong shooting efforts from its opponents on their home courts, BYU is 3-4 on the road in league games. BYU last won three conference road games in 2004, when the Cougars won their final three away games during a nine-game winning streak (3-4 on the road in MWC in 2004).
BYU's LAST OUTING -- COUGARS' WIN STREAK ENDS AT UNLV
LAS -- The BYU men's basketball team saw its seven-game winning streak come to an end Saturday night as the Cougars fell, 83-75, at UNLV. Sophomore Lee Cummard was the high scorer for the Cougars as he posted a career-high 18 points while tying his personal-best with a team-high five assists. Senior Keena Young scored 16 points in the game, all after halftime, while sophomore Trent Plaisted added 13 points and senior Mike Rose posted 12. Plaisted paced BYU on the boards with nine rebounds. Sophomore guard Wink Adams led UNLV with a career-high 27 points. UNLV struck first with a layin at the 18:37 mark, but Plaisted matched the Rebel bucket with one of his own to get BYU on the board. Plaisted and Cummard set the tone early for the Cougars as the pair scored BYU's first 11 points to give the Cougars an early 11-8 lead despite two quick fouls on leading scorer Young. After UNLV cut the lead to one at 11-10, Fernando Malaman ended a 3:23 BYU drought with a jumper from the free-throw line to maintain the Cougar advantage. UNLV got back to within one on the next possession, but Mike Rose extended the Cougar lead to 16-12 with his 18th three-point make of the year. Cummard and Plaisted then scored on back-to-back BYU trips to cap a 7-0 Cougar run and give BYU a 20-12 lead at the 9:14 mark. Cummard kept the Cougar momentum going with his second three-pointer of the night at the 7:37 mark to give BYU its largest lead of the game to that point at 25-14. The Rebels responded with a three ball of their own and then picked off Austin Ainge to get another score and cut the lead to 25-19. Ainge made up for the turnover with a three-point make on the other end, but Malaman picked up his second foul on the next UNLV possession, resulting in two Rebel free throws. With both Malaman and Young on the bench with two fouls apiece, Coach Rose called on true freshman Jonathan Tavernari, who drained his first two three-point attempts to give BYU a 34-25 advantage. However, 11 straight UNLV points gave the Rebels their first lead since 6-4 with a 36-34 advantage with 41 seconds to play in the half. A layin from Plaisted to end a 3:37 BYU scoring drought sent the Cougars into the locker room with their first halftime tie of the year at 36-36. Jimmy Balderson put BYU back in front with a pair of free throws just 26 seconds into the second half. UNLV could not convert three early Cougar turnovers, going 0-for-6 to start the half, allowing BYU to extend its lead to 41-36 on a three-pointer from Cummard. However, after struggling to find the basket to begin the half, UNLV put together a 14-4 run to take a 50-45 lead. Young, the only Cougar to score during the spurt, added his second dunk of the year to get BYU within three at 50-47, but the Rebels weren't done scoring as they increased their lead to 54-47 thanks in part to strong rebounding on the offensive glass. The UNLV scoring continued as the Rebels matched BYU's large lead of the game with a 59-48 advantage at the 9:22 mark. Young continued his second-half scoring run with a three-point play but was answered on the other end with a three-pointer to maintain the 11-point Rebel lead. After UNLV pushed its advantage to 13 points at 66-53, Rose drained his second three-pointer of the night, but the Rebels' hot shooting continued as they made their eighth shot in 10 attempts to take a 74-58 lead with 2:56 left to play. Rose drained back-to-back three-pointers between the two- and three-minute marks to get BYU to within 10 points at 74-64, and then Ben Murdock drained a three after two UNLV free throws to cut the deficit to single digits at 76-67. The Cougars kept pushing as the clock wound down, getting to within seven points at 80-73 on a three-pointer from Cummard, but time was not on BYU's side as the Cougars could not complete the comeback.
WHAT WAS SAID AFTER THE GAME ...
BYU Head Coach Dave Rose
-- "They played better than we did over the course of 40 minutes. We had a lot of chances, but we couldn't get it done."
-- "We got stuck for quite a while where we didn't score. We got the shots we wanted but they weren't going in and then we started shooting quick shots. Keena (Young) got us going a little bit but by then we were down 12 or 13 points and had to dig out of a hole."
-- "Tonight we didn't have a good enough offensive game combined with a good enough defensive game to get this done."
-- "Lee Cummard continues to play well. He continues to be consistent for us. We used him to break the pressure for us a lot tonight. I think that he just continues to get better."
-- "It's a tough league. It's a long process. We jumped out to a nice start, but tonight we had a setback. But we've got a long way to go."
BYU NOTES FROM LAST OUTING
-- Individual Career Highs: Lee Cummard -- 18 points, 7 field goals made, 4 three-point field goals made, 5 assists (tied); Fernando Malaman -- 2 assists (tied); Vuk Ivanovic -- 2 assists (tied).
-- The loss at UNLV snapped a seven-game Cougar winning streak, their longest since the 2003-04 season.
-- The Cougars are now 12-2 when scoring at least 70 points with losses at Lamar and at UNLV and 1-5 when allowing opponents to score at least 70 points. Prior to the 83-75 loss, BYU had held opponents under the 70-point mark in seven straight games. The Cougars have scored at least 70 points in nine straight games.
-- With a .571 (12-for-21) three-point shooting mark against UNLV, BYU has now shot above .400 from behind the arc in four straight games and eight on the season. The Cougars have shot at least .500 from three-point range in five games.
-- BYU's .750 (9-for-12) free-throw efficiency marked its highest percentage since shooting .867 (13-for-15) against San Jose State on Dec. 6.
-- After outrebounding their opponents in six straight games, including a double-digit margin in the last five, the Cougars have been bested on the glass in the last two games, including a 39-31 deficit at UNLV. BYU entered the game leading the Mountain West Conference in both rebounding average and rebounding margin. The Cougars are now 11-0 this season when outrebounding their opponents and 1-5 when losing the battle of the boards.
-- BYU went into the locker room at the half tied for the first time this season at 36-36. The Cougars have led at the half in 12 games and trailed in four.
-- Keena Young bounced back from a six-point performance against TCU in which he was hampered by foul trouble to score 16 points against the Rebels, marking the 15th time in 17 games he has scored in double figures. All of Young's points came in the second half.
-- With a three-point make at the 10:38 mark, Mike Rose has now made a three-pointer in nine straight games, just one game short of his career record. Rose has come on strong for BYU as of late, scoring 68 points in the last nine games (7.6 ppg), including 12 against UNLV, after scoring just 11 points in the first eight games (1.4 ppg).
-- Plaisted and Cummard combined for BYU's first 11 points as Plaisted scored six and Cummard scored five points in the first 4:48 of the game.
-- Plaisted recorded his 15th dunk of the season and the 48th of his career just 4:48 into the game. BYU's big man has slammed one home in 11 of 17 games this year. Young also recorded a dunk in the game, his second of the season and fifth of his career.
BYU's 24-point (89-65) win over TCU last Wednesday in the Marriott Center marked the Cougars' largest margin of victory in MWC play since a 29-point win (82-53) on Jan. 17, 2004 against Colorado State. The big win came just one game after a 22-point victory over San Diego State to open MWC play. BYU has won just eight games by 20 points or more in MWC play since the formation of the league prior to the 1999-2000 season. During their seven-game winning streak, which came to and with a loss at UNLV Saturday, the Cougars outscored opponents by an average of 22.0 points per game with six of their seven wins coming by double digits.
BYU shot .565 (26-for-46) from three-point range in its two games last week. The Cougars tied a school record with 14 triples (14-of-25, .560) in their win over TCU Wednesday and followed with 12 treys (12-for-21, .571) at UNLV on Saturday. BYU has shot above 40 percent from behind the arc in four straight games and eight times on the season. The Cougars have shot 50 percent or better from three-point range in five games.
With seven straight wins against Utah State, Western Oregon, Liberty, Oral Roberts, Seton Hall, San Diego State and TCU, the Cougars put together their longest winning streak of the Dave Rose era and their longest since winning nine straight games during the 2003-04 season. Before coming to an end with a loss at UNLV Saturday, the streak was tied for the 12th-longest active victory streak in the nation. Earlier this year with wins against Idaho State, Portland and Southern Utah, the Cougars put together a three-game win streak, which ended with a loss at Boise State. BYU had several winning streaks last season, including six straight victories. That streak was tied for the seventh-longest active winning streak in the nation. The Cougars' prior victory streaks last year included one four-game streak, two three-game streaks and two two-game streaks. BYU won 10 of its last 13 games last year.
ON THE ROAD
BYU's win at Weber State marked the Cougars' first road win of the season. BYU is 1-4 on the road this year with a season-opening loss at current No. 1 UCLA, a Nov. 29 setback at Boise State, an overtime defeat at Lamar and a league loss at UNLV. In BYU's five away games the Cougars have been outscored by an average of six points (78.4-72.4) with only the UCLA game being decided by double digits (13 points). The Cougars lost their only neutral court so far this season with a loss against No. 25 Michigan State at The Palace of Auburn Hills in Auburn Hills, Mich. The victory over the Wildcats snapped a three-game road losing streak dating back to last year's season-ending defeat at Houston in the NIT and a five-game nonconference road losing streak since defeating Washington State last year in Spokane Arena on Nov. 22, 2005. BYU finished last year 6-8 away from home, including a 4-4 mark during MWC play.
BOUNCE BACK COUGARS
With Tuesday's game against Wyoming coming after a loss at UNLV, the Cougars have a chance to continue their resilient ways. BYU has recovered from three of its four prior losses this season with wins. After suffering their first back-to-back regular-season losses of the Dave Rose era with defeats vs. then-No. 25 Michigan State and at Lamar, the Cougars responded with seven straight victories. Prior to the Lamar loss, BYU had bounced back from each of its two losses this season with wins, including back-to-back victories after their loss at Boise State on Nov. 29. BYU recovered from its season-opening loss at then No. 5 UCLA (now ranked No. 1 in the polls) with three straight wins. Last year with its 20-9 overall record, BYU suffered consecutive defeats only once -- against Utah in the Mountain West Conference Tournament and at Houston in the NIT in the last two games of the year, having bounced back from each prior loss with a victory.
MAGIC NUMBER: 70
This year the Cougars are scoring 77.4 points and allowing 67.1 points. BYU is 11-0 when opponents score less than 70 points this year and 1-5 when they score 70 or more. BYU is 12-2 when it scores 70 or more points (exception at Lamar and at UNLV) and 0-3 when scoring less than 70. Last year BYU was 12-0 when holding opponents under 70 points and 8-9 when allowing opponents to surpass the 70-point threshold. Cougar foes averaged 71.7 points per game last year. BYU was also 17-4 when scoring 70 or more points and 3-5 when falling below the 70-point mark. The Cougars led the MWC in scoring last year, averaging 76.2 ppg, and scored 100 points in conference play for the first time since Feb. 10, 1994 in their home game against league-champion San Diego State. BYU is second in the MWC in scoring this season.
CLEANING OFF THE GLASS
BYU is 11-0 this season when outrebounding its opponents and 1-5 when losing the battle of the boards. The Cougars lead the MWC in rebounding average (39.4) and rebounding margin (+5.8). Sophomore Trent Plaisted ranks fourth on the glass at 7.1 rpg while senior Keena Young is seventh at 6.6 rpg. The Cougars recorded back-to-back season-high efforts of 52 rebounds vs. Oral Roberts and 55 against Seton Hall in the BYU Holiday Classic. BYU outrebounded the Pirates 55-34 as four Cougars had nine or more rebounds (Cummard 12, Young, Plaisted and Ainge 9). Cummard and Ainge achieved new career highs.
BYU is the only MWC team that has not had a game decided by three points or less this season. The Cougars have had some close games, however, as three games have required overtime this season. BYU is 2-1 in overtime with an 86-77 loss at Lamar on Dec. 13 and an 84-78 win against Idaho State on Nov. 18 and a 73-69 victory at Weber State on Dec. 2. This is the first season since 2001-02 that BYU has played multiple extra period games in one year (BYU was 0-3 in overtime that season). The Cougars' loss at Lamar ended a five-game overtime winning streak dating back to March 14, 2003, an 86-80 setback against Colorado State at the MWC Tournament. BYU is 50-45 (.526) all-time when playing past regulation.
VS. RANKED OPPONENTS
BYU is the only MWC team to face two ranked opponents during nonconference play. The Cougars lost 76-61 to then-No. 25 Michigan State at The Palace of Auburn Hills in Auburn Hills, Mich. BYU suffered a season-opening (82-69) loss at then-No. 5 UCLA on Nov. 15. BYU's last win over a ranked team came at the Delta Center (recently renamed EnergySolutions Arena) in Salt Lake City on Dec. 6, 2003 with a 76-71 victory vs. 25th-ranked Oklahoma State, who advanced to the Final Four that season.
One of BYU's most consistent players this year has been senior forward Keena Young, who has scored in double figures in 15 out of 17 games. He leads BYU in scoring (15.6), which is 10th in the league, and is second in rebounding (6.6), seventh in the conference. The senior co-captain has led BYU in scoring six times and rebounding six times, including his career-high 16-rebound performance against Oral Roberts for his fourth double-double of the season (21 points). His 27 points at Weber State is the most by a Cougar since Dec. 13, 2003 (Rafael Araujo - 28).
Senior Austin Ainge is averaging a team-best 3.59 assists, fifth in the MWC, and is second on the team in three-pointers (25). He posted a season-high 20 points on 7-for-9 shooting from the field, including a 5-for-7 mark from three-point range, to go along with six assists against TCU. He totaled 16 points with a career-best nine rebounds off the bench against Seton Hall. He scored 11 points off the bench-- all in the first half -- to give BYU early control of the game against Utah State. His 14 points -- all in the second half -- against Boise State fueled BYU's furious comeback attempt.
DOING IT ALL
Lee Cummard contributes across the box score and on the defensive end of the floor for BYU. In the Cougars' conference opener against San Diego State, he recorded his second straight double-double with 16 points and 11 rebounds while contributing 4 assists, 3 steals and 2 blocks. In the BYU Holiday Classic, he averaged 11.3 points, 9.0 rebounds and 3.3 assists while shooting .542 from the floor, .444 on threes and was perfect from the line. He was named to the all-tournament team. After coming one rebound away from the first double-double of his career against Oral Roberts with 13 points and a then career-high 9 rebounds to go along with 5 assists, he finished the Classic with career highs of 16 points and 12 rebounds vs. Seton Hall. He leads BYU with 26 treys. He has had at least one steal in 14 of 17 games. On the year, Cummard averages 10.4 points, 6.1 rebounds, 3.1 assists, 1.6 steals and 0.7 blocks while shooting .542 from the floor, .500 on threes and .852 from the line. He ranks among the top 15 in the MWC in nine statistical categories and among the top five in three, including ranking second in assist/turnover ratio (2.21), fourth in three-point field-goal percentage (.500) and fourth in steals (1.59). He guards the opponent's top perimeter player. Among his defensive highlights was excelling in the tough assignment to guard the MWC's all-time scoring leader and reigning MVP Brandon Heath of San Diego State. He held Heath to season-low-tying 13 points -- well below his MWC No. 2-ranked 20.3 scoring average entering the game. Cummard helped end Heath's string of four straight games with 20 or more points. He also helped hold Utah State's leading shooter Jaycee Carroll, who ranked 22nd in the nation shooting .629, to just .308 shooting (4-for-13) and seven points below his average.
Coach Rose has used four different starting lineups so far this year. Sophomore Lee Cummard and senior Keena Young have started every game this season, while sophomore Trent Plaisted has missed just one start because of injury. Jimmy Balderson has made 14 starts. Rashaun Broadus started 11 of 15 games before being suspended for the season. Austin Ainge has started nine games.
BYU BASKETBALL ON TELEVISION
BYU's next televised game will be on Jan. 16 when the Cougars host Wyoming. The game will be aired on the mtn. The Mountain West Conference's 2006-07 men's basketball television schedule features an unprecedented 99 games on national and regional television, including 65 of the 72 conference contests and all eight MWC Championship matchups. The television coverage provided by the MWC broadcast partners in 2006-07 is more than triple the national and regional telecasts MWC men's basketball has received in previous years. Seventy-five games will be shown on the MountainWest Sports Network (the mtn.), with 17 to be broadcast nationally on College Sports Television (CSTV) and seven on VERSUS (formerly OLN). BYU will have 18 regular-season games televised as part of the 2006-07 MWC television schedule, including three games on CSTV, one on VERSUS and 14 on the mtn. With the exception of a road game at TCU, BYU's entire conference schedule will be televised in 2007. BYU's nonconference games featured in the MWC broadcast schedule include home dates with Southern Utah (Nov. 24, 8 p.m. MT), San Jose State (Dec. 6, 7 p.m. MT) and Utah State (Dec. 16, 4 p.m. MT). While not part of the MWC television package, BYU's regular-season opener at 2006 NCAA runner-up UCLA on Nov. 15 was televised on Fox Sports Net Prime Ticket, while the BYU-Michigan State matchup on Dec. 9 at The Palace at Auburn Hills was carried on ESPN2. BYU's game at Boise State on Nov. 29 was aired on KTVB in Boise and the matchup with Weber State was carried in Utah on KJZZ-TV.
DEFENDING THE HOME COURT
With 25 straight wins in the Marriott Center, the Cougars currently own the nation's second-longest active home victory streak. BYU has won its first 11 home games this season after going 14-1 at home last year including wins in its last 14 straight home contests.
Active Homecourt Winning Streaks (through games played Jan. 13, 2007)
Wins Team This year Next home game
47 Gonzaga 7-0 Jan. 27 vs. San Francisco
25 BYU 11-0 Jan. 16 vs. Wyoming
25 Air Force 8-0 Jan. 20 vs. San Diego State
22 Memphis 9-0 Jan. 16 vs. UAB
22 George Washington 7-0 Jan. 20 vs. Charlotte
BYU has led at the half in 12 of the team's first 17 games, including a double-digit lead six times. The Cougars outscore their opponents by an average of 5.3 points in the first period of play with a +10.4-point margin during their seven-game winning streak, which ended with a loss at UNLV Saturday. BYU's win over Seton Hall marked the first time the Cougars have won this year after trailing at the break. The Cougars' 82-69 loss at UCLA after leading 39-36 at the half marked the first time since the 2004-05 season that BYU has lost when leading at the half. The Cougars are now 11-1 when leading at the half, 1-3 when trailing and 0-1 when tied at the break this season. Last year, BYU was 14-0 when leading at the half, 5-9 when trailing and 1-0 when tied. Of the 14 games in which they led at the half, the Cougars led by double digits six times.
COUGARS HELP CHILDREN WITH CANCER
For the eighth year, the BYU men's basketball team joined the Children with Cancer Christmas Foundation in an effort to raise money for families who have children with cancer and participate in the Foundation's annual Christmas party for those families. The Foundation collected monetary donations and any unwrapped toys to go directly towards a Christmas party for more than 90 families who have children with cancer living primarily in Utah County. A large portion of the money donated purchased hundreds of toys that enabled these parents to have gifts under the Christmas tree for their children. In addition to all of these toys, the party included free food and entertainment, such as games and ornament decorating, and local celebrities including Santa, Cosmo and the BYU men's basketball team. This is the eighth year BYU coaches, players and their families have volunteered for the Christmas party. BYU head coach Dave Rose served as honorary chairman for the second year. "This has always been a cause I feel strongly about," said BYU coach Dave Rose. "It has been such a positive experience for the coaches, players and families and is a tremendous opportunity for community members to be involved in brightening the holiday season for these children."
With a win against New Mexico to conclude the regular season last year, the Cougars achieved their 29th 20-win season. BYU has averaged 20 wins every 2.7 years (BYU has played 78 seasons in which it has played at least 20 games in a season). BYU coach Dave Rose is the fifth Cougar head coach to reach 20 wins in his first season at the helm. He joins G. Ott Romney (20-10 in 1928-29), Stan Watts (22-12 in 1949-50), Ladell Anderson (20-11 in 1983-84) and Roger Reid (21-9 in 1989-90). Both Watts and Reid achieved six 20-win seasons in their BYU coaching careers while Romney posted five and Rose's predecessor, Steve Cleveland, achieved four.
20-win Seasons at BYU
Stan Watts had 6 seasons of 20 wins in 23 years of coaching
Roger Reid had 6 seasons of 20 wins in 8 years of coaching
G. Ott Romney had 5 seasons of 20 wins in 9 years of coaching
Steve Cleveland had 4 seasons of 20 wins in 8 years of coaching
Ladell Anderson had 3 season of 20 wins in 6 years of coaching
Frank Arnold had 3 seasons of 20 wins in 8 years of coaching
Floyd Millet had 1 season of 20 wins in 8 years of coaching
Dave Rose has 1 season of 20 wins in 1 year of coaching